USS Stringham DD-83 (APD-6)
The USS Stringham DD-83 was the second U.S. navy Ship to carry this name. She was first laid down on 19 September 1917 in Massachusetts and launched on the 30 May 1918. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Edward B. Hill and commissioned on 2 July 1918 under the command of Commander N.E. Nichols.
The Stringham’s first duty was providing anti-submarine patrols and escort duties during World War I. She returned to the U.S. in 1919, served at half commission for a six month period between 1919 and 1920, and then resumed full service until 1922. On 2 June 1922, the Stringham was decommissioned in Philadelphia.
Action in World War II
The Stringham was moved to Norfolk in 1940, where she was transformed into a high speed transport ship and reclassified as APD-6. On 11 December 1940 she was re-commissioned and served out of Norfolk until 1942. Part of the Stringham’s duties was providing escort on the East Coast and in the Caribbean. On 18 April 1942, in the Caribbean, the Stringham attacked an enemy sub, but could not confirm the kill, despite the oil slick rising to the top of the water.
On 6 July 1942, the Stringham embarked for her duty call to the Pacific. There she served the ground forces well, providing much needed supplies to the Marines that were holding Guadalcanal. It is believed that the high speed capabilities of the Stringham enabled the well supplied Marines to keep Japanese forces at bay.
On the 23 of August 1942, during a supply run to Guadalcanal, the Stringham was nearly hit by a submarine torpedo. She immediately fired back, but again, the kill could not be confirmed. During the remainder of the year and throughout 1943 and 1944, the Stringham performed duties in the Pacific Arena. Twice she was damaged and had to return for repairs.
In late 1944, the Stringham returned to the U.S. for repairs and upgrades. She immediately returned to the Pacific and took part in the invasion of Okinawa. After serving time in this area, she moved on to Guam where she provided escort duty. While at Guam, the Stringham was rammed by the USS Val-lette. The accident caused extensive damage and the ship was ordered back to San Diego. On 25 June 1945, she was repaired and re-designated DD-83. The end of the war stopped her repairs and the ship was decommissioned in Philadelphia on 9 November 1945. She was struck from the Naval Fleet record on 5 December 1945 and sold for scrap in 1946.
Nine battle Stars were awarded to the Stringham for her WWII service.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.